Letter: Pre-Budget trickery

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The Independent Culture
Sir: I thought it was the Tories whose favourite trick was "targeting" - giving the minimum amount to the minimum number of people, especially pensioners. It seems it is Gordon Brown's favourite as well ("Brown set for election giveaway", 10 November).

In his pre-Budget statement, he distracts attention from the 73-pence pension increase next April by waving about his "gift" of a free TV licence to the over-75s. Paul Daniels could not do better.

Why the over-75s? Because there are few of them compared with the 6 million pensioners who are under 75. Why the TV licence? Because it's only once a year.

We do not want charity! We want a living pension for all pensioners, which we have all paid for, week by week for all our working lives. We need pounds 100 per week, not per year. We do not want sleight of hand. We want a substantial pension increase now, not a TV licence next year.

All the pensioners have a vote and the way New Labour is performing they will not be getting these votes next time around.

DAVID KELLY

Staveley, Cumbria

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